UNCG Magazine

‘Relationship building’ with alumna Saundretta James

Saundretta James ’08, 12 MEd appeared on the cover of UNCG Magazine’s campaign issue in 2006 as the Students First campaign was having its public launch. The article followed her on a day in her life as a student, going to classes, meeting with professors, studying, and hanging out with friends. As a driven, first-generation student – her name then was Saundretta Caldwell – her global engagement was spotlighted, as well as the comprehensive support she received from her UNCG community. Then, in 2008, she appeared on the cover again for a special tribute issue for Chancellor Sullivan, who’d announced her retirement.

Now, 14 years later, she is as passionate as ever for advocacy and community engagement – but on a higher level. She is Director of Advocacy for the UN Association of Chicago and also Director of Public Affairs for the UN Women Chicago Chapter. Also, something very close to her heart: She is a speaker on child loss, sharing her own experience to help others.

Saundretta is an entrepreneur as well as an advocate. The owner, seamstress, and designer for her apparel business Africana Fashion, she is also the full-time homeschool mom of a daughter and a son. (Her second UNCG degree, the master’s in education, has proven essential.) And, always as a true Spartan, her wedding was at Alumni House!

As she explains, what connects her work is the focus on meaningful relationships. And, “at UNCG I developed meaningful relationships with people. I still have those relationships. UNCG is big on good relationships.”

By Vivian Campbell ’20
Contributed visual

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